Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke 600m north west of Easthorpe Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Coneysthorpe, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.1397 / 54°8'22"N

Longitude: -0.8853 / 0°53'6"W

OS Eastings: 472923.967283

OS Northings: 472110.598906

OS Grid: SE729721

Mapcode National: GBR QN8K.4S

Mapcode Global: WHFBF.C6PS

Entry Name: Cross dyke 600m north west of Easthorpe Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016261

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28202

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Coneysthorpe

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Amotherby St Helen

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a cross dyke extending for 80m north east to south west
across Barton Heights ending at the edge of Coneysthorpe Banks. The dyke has a
double bank with a medial ditch. The banks are up to 5m wide and 0.6m high and
the ditch is up to 2m wide and 0.4m deep. To the south, the scheduling ends
where the dyke has been disturbed, but originally it continued further and
joined an east to west orientated earthwork extending along the edge of the
escarpment, which is the subject of a separate scheduling (SM 28203). To the
north the dyke ends at open fields, but it originally extended further and
connected with an extensive and complex system of dykes and enclosures lying
along the north facing slope of the Vale of Pickering. These have been reduced
by agricultural activity but are still visible on aerial photographs. The dyke
is part of a wider system of boundaries which divide the terrain into discrete
units for social and agricultural purposes.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km
long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or
more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges
and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial
photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and
analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans
the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used
later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial
boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities,
although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or
defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which
illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of
considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the
Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well-
preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

This section of dyke is well preserved as an earthwork and significant
archaeological remains will be retained within the bank and ditches. The dyke
is part of a wider system of boundaries, enclosures and ritual sites. Similar
groupings of monuments are known elswhere in the north east of England and
offer important scope for the study of the development and exploitation of the
landscape in different geographical areas during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, (1993), 92-120
McElvaney, M, Howardian Hills AONB Historic Environment Study, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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